INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)
4 French partridges, plucked and oven ready
Salt and pepper
100g smoked bacon lardons
12 small shallots, peeled
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
100g mushrooms (ideally ceps or chanterelles) torn into large pieces
100ml beef stock (or a jellied beef stock cube will do just fine)
1 x 75cl bottle of Pinot Noir
1 small bunch of thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crusty brown bread, to serve
METHOD Remove the partridge breasts and legs. Lay them on a board and season well. Put the butter in a heavy casserole and heat until it foams. Add the partridge pieces and cook for 5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the bacon, shallots and garlic. Once these are coloured, remove them from the pan and set aside.
Add a little more butter if necessary and throw in the mushrooms, then cook for 3-4 minutes until they are cooked but still firm. Return the rest of the ingredients to the casserole, then pour in the stock and enough wine to cover. Add the thyme and simmer uncovered over a low heat for 30 minutes, until the meat is cooked, allowing the liquid to reduce a little. Check the seasoning and serve in bowls with crusty brown bread.
Taken from Countrywise Country Cookbook by Mike Robinson, chef-proprietor, the Pot Kiln, Frilsham, Berkshire